Oftentimes during a match, players let themselves be distracted by certain external factors, and by the time they realize what’s happening a set is lost or even the match, so the question is…
How can a player stay focused during a match?
So I’m going to highlight four tips that I’m pretty sure will help you to concentrate more during your next tennis match:
1. Keep your eyes on the court.
It’s easy to get distracted by somebody making a noise, somebody shouting from outside the court, or a baby crying or whatever…
It’s very important that you keep your eyes on what happens on the court, namely: your opponent, the ball, umpire… if someone keeps score.
2. Learn to look at the ball.
You might think that as a ball comes to you obviously you are looking at it but sometimes we are looking in the direction of the ball and we tend to look away to where we want to send the ball, too early.
So for that, I have an exercise that I would like you to practice.
Here is what I used to do before my tennis match: I would sit down or stand in a place, quiet preferably, and I would find a spot on the wall or any kind of spot where I could direct my gaze and I would try to look at that spot without letting my eyes to shift away. Do that for a minute or two. You’re going to find that your focus and watching an object like the ball coming your way will improve.
3. Always remember the score.
To stay focused and present in the match make sure you always remember the score.
In a recent match that my younger daughter played, she was losing and she came to the fence next to where I was watching the match and she asked me: “Tati, what’s the score?” And I told her the score but then at the same time, I realized that she was losing the match because she was not focused. I mean, not knowing the score when you play is a sign that you are not being focused and your mind is not in the game.
4. To stay focused also especially during long rallies… count.
Every time you hit the ball count 1, 2, 3, 4… that’s a good way to stay focused on the ball and present in that rally.
Try those four tips and I’m pretty sure you’ll be more focused and, hopefully, win more tennis matches.
Certified Tennis Coach
Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.